Payment Vs. Card Balance

Hello!

I recently opened a new credit card to get the flight bonus, with the intention of using it as my every day spender and to carry NO balance. I got this card AFTER starting YNAB so it started with a zero balance and I figured it would be easy to keep track as YNAB automatically moves cash to the payment budget when you make a purchase. 

I suddenly noticed my Available (for payment) under this Chase card is several hundred dollars below what the balance of my card is. There is NO overspending in any category in current or previous months. I have no idea how this happened but I really need to figure it out before I keep using a cc as an every day thing. 

Theories: 

Something to do with reimbursements? I've bought a couple big things that people paid me back for, is there a way I could have entered that weird and messed everything up? My checking account is correct so I don't see how this would happen but.... I dunno. 

Sometimes I'll make a purchase in a category like "clothes" when there's no money in that category. I then move money from another category to zero it back out, which in my understanding should also go directly to the "Available", and it seems to have done that for individual transactions? But again, i am very confused. 

Help!

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  • It's probably the reimbursements.

    When you made the reimbursable expenses, did the reimbursement come in during the following month? i.e., did this happen:

    1. Make the reimbursable expense. The "Reimbursable" category (or the category of your choice) goes overspent.

    2. The month rolls over. The Reimbursable category is zeroed out, and the overspending becomes credit card debt.

    3. You receive the reimbursement, deposit it, and categorize the transaction as Reimbursable. The Reimbursable category goes positive, but nothing is automatically moved to the credit card payment category.

    If this is what happened, all you need to do is move money from the Reimbursable category to the credit card payment category so that your Available amount for the credit card payment matches your card balance. If this isn't what happened, could you please post your reimbursement workflow?

    Like 3
      • Green Rain
      • Green_Rain.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      mamster If I left  a category overspent though, wouldn't it show up in the current month on top as "Overspent in previous month"? Or does that only happen with cash purchases?

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      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Green Rain Yes, that's only for cash overspending.

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    • Green Rain Also be aware YNAB will convert cash overspending to credit overspending when possible. 

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      • Green Rain
      • Green_Rain.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Hmmm can you explain this a little more? I'm still not 100% sure how this happened so I wanna make sure I'm understanding the different aspects of CC spending/overspending. 

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    • Green Rain 

      Your Available amount covers cash spending first – even if the cash spending wasn’t most recent. If you have money Available after the cash spending, it will be used to cover credit spending. This is why you may notice credit overspending (yellow) when you expected to see cash overspending (red).

      For example, let's say you had $100 Available for Groceries, and you spent $85 using your credit card. You then spend $25 on Groceries from your checking account. You've overspent by $10! However, since YNAB covers cash spending first, that $100 you had Available covers the $25 in cash spending then the $75 of the credit spending. The remaining $10 is credit overspending (you’ll see -$10 in orange in your Groceries category), and it's no longer Available for your credit card payment.

      YNAB covers cash spending first because those dollars have actually left your accounts. When you have cash overspending, you can’t trust your budget (money is gone from other categories), so it’s best to avoid it. Credit overspending, on the other hand, isn’t as dire. Money hasn’t left your account yet, so those dollars are still in your categories, just as your budget suggests.

      Fixing the credit overspending is easy—just cover that $10 in credit overspending by moving money and it will become Available for your credit card payment again.

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  • I don't have a specific workflow for reimbursements. It's something I'm working on as it happens a lot more than I would have guessed when I first started. Typically I just move money from another category because I hate seeing categories overspent, and then treat the reimbursement like income BUT I haven't been super consistent about this.

    Your comment about the month rolling over is definitely possible though, I am still figuring out how things work when the month rolls over. I will try to see what reimbursable purchases I made towards the end of last month. 

    Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Green Rain what I do for reimbursements that I know 1000% I am getting (like my professional association membership fee is reimbursed by work) but that get reimbursed the following month due to timing, I enter a reimbursement transaction in the same month as the expense transaction. Then when the reimbursement goes through, I just match it up. Bad habit but it works for me and we don't do a lot of reimbursements.

      Like 1
    • Hi Green Rain !

      I wanted to leave a quick link to this article on when the month rolls over. Credit overspending is treated differently than cash overspending - only cash overspending shows in the header the following month and is subtracted from the To Be Budgeted amount.

      You can budget funds directly towards your credit card category to make up the difference you're seeing. :)

      Like 1
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